The Executive Committee of the Global Privacy Assembly (GPA) recognises the unprecedented challenges being faced to address the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Addressing these challenges requires coordinated responses at national and global levels, including the sharing of personal information as necessary by organisations and governments, as well as across borders.

We are confident that data protection requirements will not stop the critical sharing of information to support efforts to tackle this global pandemic. The universal data protection principles in all our laws will enable the use of data in the public interest and still provide the protections the public expects. Data protection authorities stand ready to help facilitate swift and safe data sharing to fight COVID-19.

Health data is considered sensitive across many jurisdictions, but work between data protection authorities and governments means we have already seen many examples of national approaches to sharing public health messages; of using the latest technology to facilitate safe and speedy consultations and diagnoses; and of creating linkages between public data systems to facilitate identification of the spread of the virus.

We issue this statement today to set out our support for public bodies and health practitioners to be able to communicate directly with people, and scientific and government bodies to coordinate nationally and globally, to tackle the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Our data protection and COVID-19 resources page provides the latest guidance and information from GPA members.

GPA Executive Committee

-Elizabeth Denham CBE, GPA Chair and UK Information Commissioner

-Marguerite Ouédraogo Bonané, President of CIL, Burkina Faso

-Angelene Falk, Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner, Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

-Raymund Enriquez Liboro, Privacy Commissioner and Chairman, Philippines National Privacy Commission

-Eduardo Bertoni, Director of the National Access to Public Information Agency, Argentina

-Besnik Dervishi, Information and Data Protection Commissioner, IDP Albania

-Francisco Javier Acuña Llamas, President Commissioner, National Institute for Transparency, Access to Information and Protection of Personal Data (INAI), Mexico

-John Edwards, Privacy Commissioner, Office of the Privacy Commissioner, New Zealand